If you’re a fan of Mata Traders, you probably care about how your clothes were made. It’s true that all over the world, people are being exploited – or worse – making the clothing that we wear everyday.

The change agents over at have 3 petitions going that can make the difference in 3 cases of horrible worker injustice in the apparel industry.  Your signature does count!  Please take a few minutes and click over to to sign these petitions.

Petition #1  J.C. Penny:  Don’t break your promise to families of workers who died making your clothes

This petition was started by the International Labor Rights Forum and currently has over 84,000 signatures.

Last December, 30 Bangladeshi factory workers were burned alive when an easily preventable fire broke out in the unsafe, multi-story sweatshop in which they were working. These men and women worked for “That’s It Sportswear” producing clothing for famous U.S. brands.

Thanks to pressure from members, seven of the eight brands (including J.C. Penney) doing business with the factory owners – the Hameem Group – signed a commitment to ensure fair compensation for the injured workers and surviving family members of the workers who died and to take meaningful steps to stop the epidemic of workplace deaths at US brands’ apparel factories in Bangladesh. Now J.C. Penney has shamefully broken this pledge. Today, six of the eight brands continue negotiating in good faith to establish an adequate worker compensation fund and sustainable fire safety initiatives. J.C. Penney, however, has dropped out.

Help send a message to J.C. Penney to honor the commitments they made in January.

In Bangladesh, nearly 500 workers have died in factory fires during the past five years. Establishing effective initiatives to prevent fires like this from occurring again is critical. Nothing less than workers’ lives are at stake. Don’t let J.C. Penney walk away from workers in Bangladesh.

Petition #2 Tell Top US Retailers to Stop Rape and Torture of Young Women in their Factories

This petition was started by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and currently has over 147,000 signatures.

Scores of young women guest workers from Sri Lanka are being sexually abused and repeatedly raped while sewing clothing at supplier factory, Classic Fashion, in Jordan. This factory makes clothing for Wal-Mart, Hanes, Target, Macy’s, Lands’ End, Kohl’s, Sears, and Jones Group (Nine West, Easy Spirit, Jones New York, Evan-Picone, Anne Klein, Bandolino). At least one of those rape victims was tortured: her assailant violently bit her, leaving scars all over her body. Rape victims who become pregnant are fired and forcibly deported to Sri Lanka. Workers who refuse the sexual advances of Classic managers are also beaten and threatened with deportation. Classic supervisors routinely beat the women, throw garments in their faces, and grope and fondle the young women to force them to meet excessive mandatory production goals.

This campaign has gotten significant press lately, so your signature will add to that groundswell:

Petition #3 Dolce & Gabbana:  Stop the Killer Jeans

This petition was started by the Clean Clothes Campaign and currently has over 39,000 signatures.

Sandblasting, which gives jeans a ‘worn’ or used look, is known to kill workers in garment producing countries like Turkey and Bangladesh where jeans sandblasting is done manually. The process involves workers firing sand under high pressure at jeans. Dust then enters the environment, exposing workers to silica, which causes silicosis in the lungs. Eventually, workers die because they cannot breathe properly anymore. There is no known cure. Some major brands, such as Levi’s, H&M, C&A and Gucci, have already abolished sandblasted jeans in their collections. But in the ‘global center of fashion,’ Italian luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana have yet to publicly ban sandblasting from their supply chains! Thousands of lives are at risk… Join us in calling on Dolce & Gabbana to ban sandblasting.